A Beautiful Glittering Lie
One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

What does 'private' mean?

Find out what private means. Private is explained by J D R Hawkins - author of A Beautiful Glittering Lie

private

The lowest rank in the army. In my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, the term "private" is used as follows:

(Page 19)
After the banquet, a ceremony commenced, beginning with a patriotic oration given by one of the officers. A banner sewn by the Ladies Aid Society in Huntsville was presented to the new company by Miss Carrie Gordon, who was appropriately dressed in Southern homespun. It was accepted by Private E. S. McClung, the color sergeant, who advanced with his corporals and gave a stirring speech.

(Page 29)
Evander McIvor Law of Florence was unanimously chosen as lieutenant colonel on the first ballot. Law was considered an accomplished officer, despite his lack of combat experience and field command. He was of slight build, with a goatee covering his twenty-six-year-old face, thus concealing his youthful appearance. On the second ballot, Charles Lewis Scott was elected major. He had been a two-term congressman from California at the onset of the war, at which time he returned to Alabama to defend his native state. Edward Dorr Tracy, a Georgia-born lawyer, was elected as captain for the North Alabamians, the company he had created. Tracy’s law partner, David C. Humphreys, was considered to be a Douglas Democrat who had staunchly opposed secession, but once the war became certain, he enlisted in his colleague’s company as a private. He was an experienced military man, having previously served as a militia colonel.

(Page 30)
Soon, their situation drastically changed, as more drills and fatigue details were continually expected of them. The men were driven through a gauntlet of routines. Following reveille at 4:00 a.m., they were drilled as an entire regiment from 4:30 until 7:00 a.m., when they broke for breakfast. General inspection was at 8:00 a.m., and the company drill lasted from 9:00 until noon. After midday break, another drill session commenced, lasting from 2:30 until 5:30. A dress parade immediately followed. Supper was served at 6:30, roll call was at 9:00, and tattoo was at 9:30, when all lights were extinguished. Most drill sessions were led by Colonel Jones’ protégé, Private Humphreys.

(Page 30)
During the month of May, the Confederacy’s capital moved from Montgomery to Richmond, and another southern state, North Carolina, seceded. Hiram learned that the reason for his regiment’s relocation was because Union forces had moved into Virginia and seized Alexandria, which was nearly seventy miles away. Although the situation seemed to be worsening, strangely enough, visitors from Huntsville steadily arrived to see their boys, bringing gifts and letters. Citizens from home temporarily took their own places in the ranks as privates, readying for the fight, but the Yankees failed to appear, and rumors of the Federals’ impending advances proved to be false.

(Page 32)
The Fourth of July was observed with a speech by President Lincoln, whose plea to Congress led to the authorized call for five hundred thousand Federal volunteers. By making such a request, Lincoln apparently had made a total declaration of war, and the Confederates took it as such. Two days later, Private Humphreys was discharged. He returned to Alabama to raise a brigade, electing himself as colonel.

(Page 41)
“Not long. Fightin’ Joe—that is, Lieutenant Wheeler—wants to move our trainin’ ground. He says the city offers too much temptation for us.” The young soldier simpered. “Reckon you boys don’t know what I mean by that.” He chuckled again. “By the way, I’m Private Samuel Shepherd. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

(Page 41)
“Likewise,” said Jake. He reached out his hand to the young private, who refused to take it.

(Page 41)
Private Shepherd chortled. “Well, y’all can learn that when you enlist.” He glanced at his comrades. “Reckon I’d best mosey on down there, and let you two git back to your mothers!”

(Page 65)
“We knew there was some game at hand then, for when General Jackson ordered knapsacks to be left behind he meant business.”

(Pages 65-66)
The following morning, they learned that a regiment of Union soldiers had gotten ahead of them in an attempt to cut them off. General Whiting, the brigade commander, galloped past them on his steed, his hands clasped and his face raised to the sky in prayer while he rode to the front. Later on in the day, General Hood managed to push the Yankees back, prompting some of the men to comment on how General Whiting’s prayers had been answered. One of the North Alabamians, Orderly Sergeant Hartley, and a private from Company A, were sent out as scouts later that evening, but when morning came, only the private returned. Sergeant Hartley had been shot, and the private brought back his bullet-pierced roll book to prove it. Hiram and the rest of Company I once again felt sorrow, for although Hartley had been from Connecticut, he was well liked, and a true Confederate patriot.

(Page 72)
Owen laughed. “So you’re the ones who were askin’ about me.” He stood from the wooden folding chair he had been sitting on, but remained behind the table. “Private Boyle says y’all want to enlist.”

(Page 74)

“Our home was the regiment, and the farther we got from our native state the more we became attached to it.”
—Private William Watson, 3rd Louisiana Infantry

(Page 85)
They stumbled along, making their way to a grove of trees. Hiram heard Lieutenant Stewart and his comrade, Lieutenant King, yelling at someone. He could make out that it was Dozier, who had fallen down and was refusing to get back up. The officers grew frustrated, so they kicked the young private before they continued on and left him behind. Springing to his feet, Dozier sprinted back toward the church.

(Page 101)
Bud snatched them from his hand. “These are private,” he grumbled, thinking of the letter he had stuffed into his own pocket. “We ought to keep them that way, out of respect.”

Search result for 'private' in A Beautiful Glittering Lie

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...privatehe banquet, a ceremony commenced, beginning with a patriotic oration given by one of the officers. A banner sewn by the Ladies Aid Society in Huntsville was presented to the new company by Miss Carrie Gordon, who was appropriately dressed in Southern homespun. It was accepted by private E. S. ..."

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Chapter 3: Chapter Three
"...Tracy, a Georgia-born lawyer, was elected as captain for the North Alabamians, the company he had created. Tracy’s law partner, David C. Humphreys, was considered to be a Douglas Democrat who had staunchly opposed secession, but once the war became certain, he enlisted in his colleague’s company as a private. He was an experienced military man, having previously served as a militia colonel. ..."
"...privateheir situation drastically changed, as more drills and fatigue details were continually expected of them. The men were driven through a gauntlet of routines. Following reveille at 4:00 a.m., they were drilled as an entire regiment from 4:30 until 7:00 a.m., when they broke for breakfast. General inspection was at ..."
"...Union forces had moved into Virginia and seized Alexandria, which was nearly seventy miles away. Although the situation seemed to be worsening, strangely enough, visitors from Huntsville steadily arrived to see their boys, bringing gifts and letters. Citizens from home temporarily took their own places in the ranks as privates, readying for the fight, but the Yankees failed to appear, and rumors of the Federals’ impending advances proved to be false. ..."
"...privaterth of July was observed with a speech by President Lincoln, whose plea to Congress led to the authorized call for five hundred thousand Federal volunteers. By making such a request, Lincoln apparently had made a total declaration of war, and the Confederates took it as such. Two days later, ..."

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Chapter 4: Chapter Four
"...privatelong. Fightin’ Joe—that is, Lieutenant Wheeler—wants to move our trainin’ ground. He says the city offers too much temptation for us.” The young soldier simpered. “Reckon you boys don’t know what I mean by that.” He chuckled again. “By the way, I’m private Samuel Shepherd. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” ..."
102.
"... chuckled again. “By the way, I’m Private Samuel Shepherd. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” “Likewise,” said Jake. He reached out his hand to the young private, who refused to take it. “If y’all plan on becomin’ soldiers, you’ll have to learn to salute your superiors.” He ..."

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Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
"...to the sky in prayer while he rode to the front. Later on in the day, General Hood managed to push the Yankees back, prompting some of the men to comment on how General Whiting’s prayers had been answered. One of the North Alabamians, Orderly Sergeant Hartley, and a private from Company A, were sent out as scouts later that evening, but when morning came, only the private returned. Sergeant Hartley had been shot, and the private brought back his bullet-pierced roll book to prove it. Hiram and the rest of Company I once again felt sorrow, for although ..."

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Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
"...along, making their way to a grove of trees. Hiram heard Lieutenant Stewart and his comrade, Lieutenant King, yelling at someone. He could make out that it was Dozier, who had fallen down and was refusing to get back up. The officers grew frustrated, so they kicked the young private before they continued on and left him behind. Springing to his feet, Dozier sprinted back toward the church. ..."

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Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
179.
"... which Blue Hugh began to read mockingly over the body. Bud snatched them from his hand. “These are private,” he grumbled, thinking of the letter he had stuffed into his own pocket. “We ought to keep them that way, out of respect.” He tore up the letters, letting the pieces flutter away ..."

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